Three members of the New York National Guard have been killed in a military helicopter crash that occurred in the town of Mendon, New York, amid a routine training mission.
The aircraft, a UH-60 medical evacuation helicopter, reportedly crashed in a field area near West Bloomfield and Cheese Factory Road in Mendon, approximately 32 kilometres south of Rochester, NY, around 6:30pm on Wednesday evening.
The helicopter was based at the Army Aviation Support Facility at Rochester International Airport, according to New York state’s military and naval affairs division.
The three soldiers on board were assigned to the 1st Battalion’s C Company in the 171st General Support Aviation Battalion.
It was not immediately clear what caused the crash. The military affairs division said the incident was under investigation.
“This is a burden – a heavy, heavy burden – upon all of us,” said Monroe County Sheriff Todd Baxter.
Baxter thanked the first responders who arrived at the field where the plane crashed, and all those who have assisted in the investigation so far.
“They went into life-saving mode trying to rescue anybody that could be on that aircraft or in that area – including grid search – with New York State Police helicopter to find anyone on that aircraft or in that area to see if there were any surviving victims,” said Baxter.
“It’s a very limited initial crash site, if you will, but there is a debris field over what I’d describe as a few city blocks right now – hundreds of feet in each direction,” Baxter said.
Both the National Guard and Federal Aviation Administration will investigate the crash.